Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday September 14, 2007 The first step

The first step is the hardest.

We have all heard this many times in our lives, but it is a truth that bears repeating.
All of us have our foibles, bad habits that consume us without our recognition. It's when these habits become overwhelming and actually start redirecting our efforts that we need someone to point out the error of our ways and guide us in the right direction. That's when this truth applies. It is hard for us to admit that we have a basic fault and that we need to redirect our lives. It's hard for each of us to admit a mistake and see ourselves as human as everyone else. It's hard to take that first step.

When you are in the position of pointing out that fault in a loved one and attempting to get someone you love to take that first step, you feel a bit guilty. You feel guilty for having to step into their life and interfere, even though it is for their own good. It's important that you make the effort, because if you don't you'll blame yourself forever for not helping when help was required. Unfortunately, you can't take that first step for your loved one. It is a step that they must take on their own with their own recognition that it is required. All you can do is counsel and hope.

For you the first step is to offer advice and counsel. For them they must recognize that you have stepped in out of love and tried to offer help. Then they must make up their own mind and take that very first step toward recovery.

I have a loved one in my family who is sliding down a slippery slope toward self destruction. He doesn't realize how far off course he has strayed. If he continues, his future life could be at great hazard. I have tried to give gentle hints that have gone unheeded. I now must try to be more direct and as honest as I can be. If he takes my warnings as insult and interference, so be it. I must try for his own sake. I hope this time my warning is heeded.

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